Poetry News

Electric Lit's Guide to AWP's Can't-Miss Events

By Harriet Staff

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If you're in Los Angeles for AWP, chances are you're currently chilling in your shared hotel room, pondering how IRL it all is--or maybe you're at brunch with your "fam"! Or maybe you're wandering through the flourescents ISO *the best tote.* But if you're like, what do I do where shall I go there are so many people what have I become, check out Electric Lit's AWP Events Not to Miss!

"The AWP schedule can be overwhelming. I’ve pared it down for you to the can’t-miss events," writes Rebecca Makkai. Repeat wash:

Thursday, March 31

8 am to 5:30 pm

R100 Conference Registration

Is that your ex, three people behind you in this two-hour line? Fuck.

Registration Area, West Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

9:00 am to 10:00 am

R117 The Pedagogy of Pedagogy of Pedagogy

Four writers talk about teaching teaching, writing writing, composing composition. This is technically how you got funding to come to this thing. You promised your department head that there would be some serious pedagogical philosophy going down. You might also have implied that AWP was a sort of meditative retreat where you’d get a lot of syllabus writing done. Anyway, you’d better go to this. Take like five notes.

Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

10:34 am

That Thing Where You Think You See Susan Orlean, But It Turns Out to Be an Adjunct Professor Named Linda

Convention Center Elevator

10:30 am to 11:45 am

R132 Rivering: Five Poets Talk about the River and Process

Five poets discuss the relation between the rhythm of the paddle and the rhythm of the line, the current of the river and the current of meaning. You totally did not mean to come into this room. There are like six people here, and the woman at the podium smiled at you so gratefully when you walked in. How long do you have to give it? Five minutes? Ten? They’re so earnest. Okay, lets go with seven minutes of head nodding, then a theatrical glance at your conference schedule, an open-mouthed gape at your watch, and an apologetic sprint from the room.

Room 405 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

12:00 pm to 3:00 am

JW Marriott Bar

Attach a colorful flag to a pole, and stick the pole into your manbun/womanbun/writerhair. Text your friends the color of the flag. When they don’t show up, have a drunken, emphatic conversation with the guy next to you about theme. Like, what do we mean, theme? What the hell is that? Also, this guy has an almond allergy, and he will tell you all about it.

5:00 pm

Tattoo Caucus

Grand ballroom


7:00 pm-1 fucking 30 am

SLAM!: Seventy-Nine Writers Read for Longer than Necessary

This is not a poetry slam. None of these people has ever been to a poetry slam. This is a hostile takeover of an LA bar by seventy-nine writers, each of whom has been asked to read for three minutes maximum. (Twelve.) (In one case, seventeen.) Here’s a fun game: When the TV in the corner of the bar begins showing a Trump rally, pretend the words are coming out of The Donald’s mouth in breathy poet voice. Ineluctable thirst, my sideways longing. Yes. Viscosity of doubt, tongue of my mother’s mother tongue. God, yes. Make America lyric again.

The Alibi Room, 12236 W. Washington Blvd.

Friday, April 1

8:00 am to 5:30 pm

F102 Lactation Room

You had this confused with the Emily Dickinson Hermit Cave. Where is it this year? Where are you supposed to have your panic attack? There’s a grad student doing a headstand in the second floor hallway, but you get the feeling this is more of a showoff look at my yoga thing, something she’s been planning for six months, than an actual attempt at creating a quiet space. But if you hold a bundle of clothing to your chest and talk to it, they’ll let you into the lactation room, right? Give it a shot.

First-Aid Suite, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

And don't forget...

Book Fair Highlights

Friday afternoon is a great time to visit vendors at their most bedraggled! Be sure to check out:

The place giving out matchbooks
The place with the old-timey typewriter
The editor who’s had your essay for fourteen months and he’s just sitting there, and couldn’t he at least be reading? Like, if you’re fourteen months behind on submissions, maybe you could bring a few files with you. Just saying.
The grad student sobbing on the floor between booths L16 and L17, slowly realizing that there are fifteen thousand people here, and they can’t all be the Next Big Thing
The place giving out magnets

Have fun, you crazy kids.

Originally Published: March 31st, 2016